This is a post I wrote three years ago to the day. It was before Alba, it was before the Alex .Salmond trial. It was topical because just like today the SNP were suggesting a referendum was imminent. I was concerned then, as I am still today, that the SNP were doing nothing to advance the cause of Independence and ignoring two identified priority groups where there is huge potential to win much more support. I just wonder why they are being ignored? ONE thing is certain GRA and Hate Crime will lose, not win these votes. Again I ask why are these not the priorities? Is the plan to lose?

CONFUSED AND A LITTLE BIT CONCERNED. ( first published 18th April 2019)

I have always liked Andrew Wilson so it doesn’t sit easily to contest some of his ideas outlined in his latest outline on strategy advice which seems to set out as a priority a softly, softly approach designed to attract the support of the 330,000 people originally from England who voted No in 2014.

I have no problem having any strategy to attract more support for YES from any population group or subgroup of electors in Scotland but I see several much greater opportunities for conversion to YES from other groups which I am convinced would bring much greater return for yes than setting out a softly, softly, strategy to attract a group which I think, irrespective of how soft you can make it, will still be the most resistant to Independence to Scotland. That is not to say they are all hopeless cases, English Scots for Yes prove that but I think we all know that many of these people are tied to the British State and who see Independence as a threat to their British Status. These people are not low hanging fruit to the Yes campaign.

A much greater emphasis should be on two other groups both of whom, for much the same reasons, are the weak link in the BETTER TOGETHER attempts to hold onto the votes they got in 2014.

The first group is pensioners. They voted by almost two to one against Independence in 2014 largely because they were lied to and terrified by threats about losing their pension and we were frankly appalling at contesting and exposing those lies and scaremongering. I would be a lot happier to hear a lot more about what we are planning to do about the pensioners group NOW, because if we learned anything from 2014 we must know they were the hardest group to reach through social media and therefore the most vulnerable to the BT false propaganda, happily rammed down their throats by a compliant Unionist media machine. Unionism is vulnerable here, the U.K. State Pension is a national disgrace. A well publicised pledge to increase pensions in an Independent Scotland alongside a complete and sustained expose of how BT lied and misled them in 2014 could bring about big switches in support from NO to YES.

My second group is the Scots born who voted NO. 53% of people actually born in Scotland voted YES. Fair enough, but that means 47% voted no, many of whom were again terrified by the Unionist propaganda about being pulled out the EU, job losses in Shipbuilding, HMRC, ETC. Time has ensured that many must now see how false that narrative was and remains today. I estimate there are around 1.5 million people in this category, they must now be shown that voting NO did not save a single job, indeed by staying in the U.K. and now facing Brexit, despite Scotland voting overwhelmingly to remain a member of the EU, MANY TENS OF THOUSANDS OF SCOTTISH JOBS ARE NOW AT RISK! Again BT are hugely vulnerable to a message that not only was their scaremongering completely false but that they ARE DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF SCOTS JOBS NOW BEING THREATENED BY BREXIT.

Now as I stated at the beginning of this post I have no objection to anyone working on strategy to bring across more people from No to YES but for the two big, important, vital groups I mention above a softly, softly message will not do. We need a challenging, strident message highlighting how angry both pensioners and Scots who voted No should be about being lied to by BT and making clear how much we would welcome them righting that wrong by moving to the YES side now.

You can be sure that BT and their Unionist media allies are not planning many softly, softly, strategies for Indyref2 they will be planning a media storm of old and new lies. It would serve us well if our strategy from now on actively sought to highlight how BT lied last time round urging people to be very wary indeed of all future messages from that source.

When I see action on these two vital groups I will be much more confident of a positive outcome on Indyref2.

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland


Sadly some sites had given up on being pro Indy sites and have decided to become merely pro SNP sites where any criticism of the Party Leader or opposition to the latest policy extremes, results in censorship being applied. This, in the rather over optimistic belief that this will suppress public discussion on such topics. My regular readers have expertly worked out that by regularly sharing articles on this site defeats that censorship and makes it all rather pointless. I really do appreciate such support and free speech in Scotland is remaining unaffected by their juvenile censorship. Indeed it is has become a symptom of weakness and guilt. Quite encouraging really.


Are available easily by clicking on the links in the Home and Blog sections of this website. by doing so you will be joining thousands of other readers who enjoy being notified by email when new articles are published. You will be most welcome.

33 thoughts on “I WROTE THIS 3 YEARS AGO.

  1. It’s probably already too late to “save” the pensioners for indyref2. That’s a battle that needs to be fought and won long before any campaign starts, otherwise it quickly becomes a matter of whose “embellished truths” are going to be believed. With so much at stake, it then becomes a question choosing between the devil you know and the potential devil you don’t. It’s game over by that point.

    The problem has not even begun to be addressed in a credible way, never mind solved. Such are the brilliant minds at SNP HQ.

    Liked by 11 people

  2. “We need a challenging, strident message”.

    That we do.

    On (state) pensions, there are two subgroups. Those drawing them down (current pensioners) and those yet to do so (future pensioners). On the former the UK will continue to pay them – they must, just as they do with those that retired to live in Europe, North America and other parts of the World. Regarding the latter, I believe the Scottish government have already stated that they will upgrade the current state pension from its paltry UK level to at least 50% higher, and possibly, twice as high as current levels. Why aren’t they screaming this from the rooftops?

    With respect to the BT “promises” of 2014 we should be widely distributing and trumpeting a ‘black book’ of lies from the first Independence Referendum such as that produced by Stuart Campbell at Wings over Scotland (https://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/WeeBlackBookWebEdition.pdf). For example,

    EU Gurarantee v Brexit
    HMRC Jobs v Cumbernauld Closures
    T8 Clydebuilt Frigates: 13 Contracts v 8 Orders
    The Vow v EVEL
    Home Rule/Federlaism/DevoMax v Scotland Act 2015

    But, aside from these two issues, my real concern is that the Scottish Government manages to agree a S30 from the British government but at a cost of the latter extracting terms and conditions that will completely undermine any democratic process

    I have little doubt that Nicola Sturgeon will find her excuse in 2023 e.g. “it’s a run-up to the UK General Election”. After all, she has form and her pattern is well established. The SNP leadership are indifferent to it and, even if they weren’t, they have to date demonstrated the guile of a lemming approaching a precipice.

    However, if by some miracle one happens my fear is that it will be lost – Nicola Sturgeon is determined to allow British interference in any referendum on the constitutional question. This will necessarily entail the London government involvement in setting the terms of reference covering inter alia the question posed, answer options, voter franchise, timing of the plebiscite and vote counting inspectorate. The process will be gerrymandered and the referendum lost before the campaign has begun.

    We must not let that happen.

    Liked by 16 people

  3. The 2 Groups mentioned will probably be an even bigger factor in any future referendum as the population ages and there is more immigration from south of the border. However, there is another equally important group to involve and those are the approximately 1 million disabled people in Scotland.

    There have been developments such as Social Security Scotland that will make a positive difference when compared to DWP and hopefully the positive influence that may have will increase over time as we take control over more benefits and create more of our own.

    Disabled people have also been, and still are, the most impoverished section of UK and Scottish society and this includes families with a disabled person living with them.

    However, it is often forgotten that when improving the lives of disabled people you are also getting the attention of families, friends and carers who have a direct interest in the health and wellbeing of the individual concerned.

    Currently, the Scottish Government are pushing Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) that may help but MIG is still tied to “means-testing” and that is something disabled people have campaigned against for as long as I can remember.

    Universal Basic Income (UBI) removes means testing and while the Scottish Government states that MIG is a “stepping-stone” to the introduction of UBI, most advocates of UBI are not convinced of that long-term commitment.

    So, when addressing the benefits of an independent Scotland, remember the huge number of disabled and those who support them as collectively they make up a massive percentage of the electorate.

    Liked by 10 people

  4. As self-determination independence is decolonisation according to the UN, and taking account of postcolonial literature/theory, the anti-independence movement is likely to be composed of two principal societal groups:

    1. the colonizer group, which may also include those born in the colonial territory, and;

    2. the colonized who suffer from an appropriated colonial mindset, and who therefore view their native culture, language, values etc as inferior to that of the colonizer which is imposed on them.

    In both instances the anti-independence No vote is therefore a direct consequence of colonialism, i.e. if colonialism did not exist then neither would the No voter.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. The UN has long had a decolonisation programme. It points out that when it was founded in 1945, nearly a third of the world’s population lived in territories that were dependant on colonial powers. Now there are only 17 “non self governing territories” and the UN continues to monitor the situation in these territories, working to facilitate their decolonization.

      The UN lists these territories. Scotland is not one of them, so obviously the UN does not regard Scotland as a colony. That may be in large part because Scotland, which was frequently known as North Britain in those days, was an integral part of the mother country and was a coloniser, not a colony, which latter it never has been.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Daveytee you constantly refer to the MOTHER country I presume you mean the STATE of the United kingdoms , MY mother country is Scotland and it is extremely insulting and infuriating to have someone who purports to be an independence supporter deliberately misrepresenting the facts

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Goof point. Any idea how we get the UN to take notice of the current status of Scotland as a colonised territory, its resources increasingly plundered, is languages and culture derided and governed and run by mono-ligual anglophones who have acquired the posts that give them huge influence over how we are treated.
        Obviously the current Scottish government will not do this.
        Perhaps we need to take to the streets and get some newspaper headlines – except the newspapers would spin it in some way to suggest it was a crazy minority

        Liked by 2 people

      3. arayner1936: I believe that that is something Sara Salyers is working on. I believe her group, the Scottish Sovereign Research Group (SSRG), are pulling together all the various documents which outline the Scottish Constitution (yes, we do have one, left to us by our wonderful antecedents, trying to protect us against just this problem we are up against), they are translating it into modern parlance & will be submitting it to the United Nations with the instruction that Scotland will be using it to back up their Claim of Right to the effect Scots are sovereign and THEY get to determine where Scotland goes in the future, not WM.

        I may be wrong but I’m pretty sure that is what I took from what she said on… either ‘Through A Scottish Prism’, Building the Scottish State or Tweet Street (all can be googled but BSS & TS are on IndyLive). It was one of the three blogs, if you want to check & get the exact plan she referred to. Hope that helps somewhat?


  5. Independence is just a slogan to keep control of zholyrood. We will lose more and more people from the cause every day.

    We all know what the problem is and until the voters realise it we are going nowhere.

    Liked by 9 people

    1. I’m afraid that you may well be right, Clootie. What we always tend to forget is that some people who vote SNP would never vote for independence, and that goes for women, too. Independence needs to be decoupled from the SNP, which is just another watery devolutionist party now, desperate to appear relevant in a world that they have not understood since 2014. Without women voting for the SNP, the SNP cannot bring about independence – not that it wants to. Just as the Westminster debacle on the WASPI pensions issue was deliberate because it was just women, I believe that the GRA reform is deliberate. If it was just virtue-signalling, there might be some very shallow reasons for it, but it is very hard now to see this as other than a deliberate and well-orchestrated attempt to eliminate women from the independence debate through their withdrawal of their SNP vote, thereby stymying independence itself. It is also hard not to believe that both the SNP and Greens are colluding in this sleight of hand. Or am I awarding them too much intelligence and nous to think of it? They will never introduce a referendum that can be won. Never. That is why the other constitutional tools are vital now. Instead of pandering to group prejudices and sheer intransigence, another route has to be chosen and a referendum held afterwards. The future of Scotland depends on it.

      Liked by 11 people

      1. I understand and, despite what some people might think, sympathise with your feelings about the SNP, many of which I share. As a long term supporter of Scottish independence, however, I am increasing depressed by the divisions in the Yes movement which merely strengthen the unionist hand. I know you’ve said you will never vote SNP, so let me put this to you. Just say the Yes movement managed to put its differences aside and agree on a plebiscite election. To your dismay, you found that the Indy candidate in your constituency was the sitting SNP member who over the past few years had done little if anything to foster the cause of independence (that would appear to apply to most of them). However, a plebiscite election is exceptional. Would you vote for him (or her)?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. davey: I have always said that I would vote for independence, whatever the circumstances. Of course I would vote for that person even if it meant holding my nose. Right now, the SNP needs to be taught a lesson, and I will never vote for them again unless it is in the circumstances you outline. I have no wish to cause division. I kept saying that GRA reform would alienate women to the extent that the SNP would suffer and through them, independence. If this stuff goes through Holyrood, we will all be awaiting the first death/rape/molestation at the hands of a so-called trans identified male because that is precisely what is happening in America right now, and in England right now. Before anyone screams, but they are not true trans, that is the point. Self-ID, which this reform is, will lead to predatory and ill-intended men harming females. If one girl or woman is harmed by this legislation, I, for one, will hold Nicola Sturgeon, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater culpable. I will also hold all their slavering sycophants, and the trans allies from the other parties, equally culpable. Their already well-established cruelty to women is a disgrace to a civilized society. It would be hard to vote for any of these people, but, for my country’s sake, yes I would, but only in those circumstances. Otherwise, they utterly disgust me.

        Liked by 11 people

      3. Identity politics is a tried and tested means of diversion and division whether it’s class politics or decolonisation.
        So who has been a recipient of the largesse of the US State Department in Scottish politics?

        Let’s start with the International Visitors Leadership Programme (elected officers) in Holyrood: Humza Yousaf, Kezia Dugdale, Patrick Harvie, Ross Thompson & Jenny Gilruth.

        In Westminster we know Patrick Grady and Angela Crawley were guests of the IVLP due to indiscrete posts on social media. Neither Grady or Crawley recorded their 10 day trip to the states in their HoC register of interests. Grady and Crawley are members of the British American Parliamentary Group and that outfit has a curious and seemingly unique exception from registering foreign trips. This of course leaves open the possibility that other Scottish MPs (from any party) could also, quietly be IVLP alumni. Why the secrecy, it’s not as if our American cousins could possibly have nefarious intent in “influencing” our elected representatives.

        Then there’s the tres amigos of the neo-con apocalypse; Stewart McDonald, Alyn Smith & John Nicolson.

        Ten names with connections to the State Department and only Yousaf is heterosexual. Coincidence, or (depressingly in this day and age) for certain agencies of state, does homosexuality signal “vulnerability to influencing”? If so, this is not a judgment on any individual or group beyond the (outdated and ill informed) State Department.
        Neale Hanvey and Joanna Cherry remain stalwart champions of independence.

        Liked by 9 people

      4. Yes, Viv, there seems to be a real neo con influence in the SNP, in particular. The Tories always were wedded to American ambitions as second-best when the Empire went, and mostly, the Americans run rings round them. It is less that the SNP has become absorbed as it is how quickly this happened. Know what you mean about the three amigos. I am beginning to think that GRA was deliberately brought into Scotland – many of our present ills were imported – but avoided for the greater part in England. It might be pure coincidence… To some extent, I can understand where gay people in the parties feel their sympathies should lie because of past injustices to them. However, trans ideology is nothing like gay. It is a socially, politically and economically and medically dangerous concept if not challenged. That so many have succumbed to its lies and half-truths and malign agenda is astounding.

        Liked by 9 people

  6. I will never forget campaigning for a Yes vote in Pumpherston in 2014. In two streets that were at least 90% pensioner households, no pensioner would even open their door. The previous week Labour had been round those streets warning them that if they voted Yes they would lose their pension. This exemplifies the pension problem and no Scottish Government strategy exists to address this.

    Liked by 10 people

  7. Iain. I agree entirely, with this post, as I’m certain I did at the time.
    However, I would, if I may make so bold, add to it.
    Using Council electorates as the franchise, is, was, and forever shall be, an act of self-harm.
    Holiday-home owners (almost all of whom are English Brits), should never, under any circumstances, be allowed to vote on constitutional matters.
    What other mature democracy would permit such deranged folly ? It is an open invitation to colonial status !

    Liked by 14 people

  8. The old Scottish parliament brought in a nationality rule.
    I came across this many years ago and just took a passing interest now I cannot find it

    Liked by 6 people

  9. Re Scotland and colonial question, the UN is funded and therefore effectively managed by powers that were/are colonizers. The US, where the body is based, conceitedly considers itself anti-colonial. An overview of the country’s history more than indicates the contrary. Treaties do not rule out colonialism, check out the history of colonialized and «subject» peoples and the legal terms of offers they would be unwise to refuse.
    The Scotland-England union was so skewed to suit the interests of the latter and the pockets of a very few of the former to be more than indicative of colonial annexation. Democracy had certainly nothing to do with it.
    Whether the UN considers the Scottish case or not the plan, the process, the socio-cultural results are all well documented in the history of colonialism. Scots exploited the British empire along with Irish, Welsh, Indians, Christians, Jews, Muslims for in its day it was master of its assets and the rewards could be significant.
    Even from that mercenary perspective the remnant of the British imperium is not what it was, so why stick with it?
    Nostalgia? Loyalty? Laziness?

    Liked by 4 people

  10. It was a worry listening to Douglas Chapman speaking in fife last week insisting that we need to win over traditional tories. I think robin McAlpine gets it right in his latest blog..


    “if you break down into tight demographic categories you might find that ‘rural farmers’ break 80/20 against independence but that ’30-something women with children working in the NHS’ break 60/40 in favour of independence. If you take the first approach, the ‘who looks like they are our biggest opponents’ approach, the solution is to target your campaign at rural farmers.
    That is not the only way to look at it. The other way is to ask who are the next ten per cent of 30-something female NHS workers and why didn’t they ‘get across the line’ to support independence? And here’s the thing – the latter are much easier to win over because their demographic characteristic makes them much less likely to be hostile.“

    IOW it’s about the low hanging fruit. I think the SNP know that, just like they know how d’hondt and STV works. It’s just that the leadership have other priorities.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Arguably both Doug and Robin have it wrong. Postcolonial theory identifies the assimilated native bourgeoisie and much of the proletariat – and we might say the latter includes mostly public sector workers – as the groups most pampered by the colonial power and hence least likely to upset the apple cart. This leaves the lumpen proletariat as the key to national liberation, as was demonstrated in 2014 when many of those from the most impoverished communities began to use their vote, some for the first time ever, on a matter at last worthy of their attention – national liberation.

      Liked by 10 people

      1. It does strike me that if we really were a colony we’d have done what all the other colonies have done, got off our backsides and gone for independence a long time ago.


      2. Yes but factor in what is happening to the NHS in England Alf. They ain’t going to be public sector workers for long.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. We need to explain to the people facing real poverty, having to choose between heating and eating. parents who dont eat enough so that the children done go short, that there is an alternative, Scottish Independence, but we have to mobilise to do something about it.
        We managed to get a lot of votes out in the poorer areas of Edinburgh, as many of us in the YES movement understood and worked hard for in 2014 but we need to persuade them once more and it will be difficult as so many are overwhelmed by their day to day problems.

        Liked by 3 people

  11. Absolutely right Alf, as usual. As someone who campaigned in one of the poorest schemes in Scotland, the engagement with voters paid off and we got people out who had never voted before. People who we ‘educated’ on the doorstep with the great assistance of the ‘Wee Blue Book’ courtesy of Rev Stu Campbell.

    The biggest resistance was with, in no particular order, pensioners ( not all) ,m/class Scots and ‘settlers’. At Bannockburn in 1314, it was the ‘sma’ folk’ that turned the tide. It will be the same demographic that can finally push us over the line. But they need the same organised consciousness raising organisation in the schemes as 2014, to get out the vote and inform them of the opportunity to seize back control of our country and its resources.

    A lot of talking heads recycling the same liberal bull about nebulous assemblies, although well intentioned, is just a waste of hot air. The R.I.C. and the dedicated (pre-Sturgeon ‘do nothing’ cabal) SNP activists nearly did it in 2014. If we keep perfidious Albion out of manipulating a bogus ‘Referendum’ with their little Sturgeon ‘helpers’ we can get shot of the lot of imposters once and for all.

    Liked by 8 people

  12. TBQH every independence stalwart KNOWS the biggest enemy to indy is the broadcasters especially the bastard broadcasting corporation , unfortunately we have politicians ALL OF THEM who will NOT publicly call them out for their lies and misinformation

    Liked by 6 people

  13. Problem in a nutshell seems to be the longer the SNP dither about independence the quieter they get about it.

    You could believe them on the reasons for delay if they used the additional time to spend longer campaigning for it, preparing for it and educating people about it, but they don’t, so the only real conclusion seems to be they don’t really want it any more. As someone else said above, they’ve gone water devolutionist and just half-heartedly wave the indy banner about whenever an election nears.

    Absolutely pathetic from them.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. I was heartened and astonished working on a polling station in 2014 at the people I met who had never voted in their lives before. I could not imagine that a person would not want to vote. Yet here, seven years later, and considerably more jaded, I share in some measure the opinion I heard so often canvassing for the SNP after 2014. Whats the point in voting, the politicians are only interested in themselves. In 2014 a great deal of hope was on display. People could see the possibility of change. In 2022 after 7 years of the present administration, how true does that really ring?

    I think you will have your work cut out getting disenfranchised voters to turn out in a fresh referendum. Comrade Napoleon or Farmer Jones? A resource has been squandered.

    As for the pensioner group. I would suggest the best thing is to persuade them not to vote against us. Their grandchildren want independence. Have those grandchildren persuade the doubters to sit the vote out.Its Scotlands future we want to fix, not her past.

    I noted the only demographic which bucked the trend in 2014 at the younger end was that which covered the undergraduate main age range. A 5 year residence requirement must be part of any future franchise. Equally as an absentee second home owners right to participate in our right to self determination is dubious, I am pretty certain a Chinese student or a posh fresher from the home counties up prince hunting in Saint Andrews for a few years should have no say in my future either.

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Pensioners – the very demographic which voted out of fear in 2014, are the ones who are going to have to choose between heating and eating. The ALBA party political broadcast got it spot on last night.
    Meanwhile the first minister is courting the Lord Mayor of London and ‘financial leaders’ (gangsters). All that’s so wrong with the SNP.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. The Holyrood SNP are merely puddling about within the remit of their devolved powers. How effectively they have been discharging these devolved powers is apparent to those who care to look and listen. The tentacles of control freakery have reigned back and neutered the Westminster contingent. This group are being wagged by the tail and cowering in basements rather than armouring a bridgehead.
    It wouldn’t take much co-ordination from Mainstream Media to take the Scottish Parliament on a hell ride. Including blowing open the whole Salmond stitch up and Covid facade. And this may provide the opportunity for Westminster to close down Holyrood in order to root out incompetence and corruption, restoring “democracy”, order and accountability.
    So by my reckoning it’s only because the English Government have currently so little credibility themselves that this isn’t an immediate threat. If and when they get their act together I am sure imposed suspension will move up the agenda, and with much popular support. It could even be a deliberately divisive and polarising Policy objective for a Tory general election campaign.
    The question is when this happens, will Scotland roll over. And will the soft no’s then stand up and be counted or follow in the footsteps of their traitorous ancestors 215 years ago.
    So, SNP, where is the leadership in meeting the entirely valid concerns of the soft no’s, to whom Independence remains either a nebulous dream, or a deep pit of financial misery for a generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. The Person Most Appalling in 2014 / IndyRef1 was Alex Salmond!
    He let that Darlek, Alastair Darling beat Him in the TV Debate! Darling had No Argument but kept Shouting “You don’t even know What Currency You Will use!”
    Salmond Never really Answered that!
    But Salmonds Biggest Mistake was playing the ‘Purdah’ game!
    Just 4 days Before the Actual IndyRef1 Vote, the Bitterthegithermob played Their Trump Card! They Wheeled Out Gordoom Broon , He Was Not Officially In the Better Together Team, and Gordoom went on TV to say: “Vote No in IndyRef1 & there Will be a Federal UK where Scotland Will play a Major Part in the Government of the UK!

    The Next Day the Daily Record printed Their Infamous Vow, promising Everything to Those who Will Vote No in IndyRef1!

    Neither Brown or the Daily Retard Had any Authority for saying what They Did, and PM Cameron never gave Them the Go ahead!
    What did Alex Salmond do – Nothing, absolutely Nothing! He claimed that His hands were tied because of Purdah!

    So because of His inaction All the Lies told by Osborne, Brown & the Daily Retard went Unchallenged by Alex Salmond!
    He caused us to Lose IndyRef1 – Fact!

    Just a Week after We Lost IndyRef1 David Cameron thanked Alex Salmond for playing the Unofficial Purdah game – Fact!


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: